This seems like an absolutely ridiculous question to ask here of all places, but…how the hell do navies really work? In particular, I was thinking about the dynamics of naval engagement in WWI. Short version of this question: who controlled which seas in WWI? How did navies functionally work in WWI and what did they do on a day-to-day basis? How the hell do you even 'patrol' something as ridiculously large as a sea?! You'd think seas are so large that you could sneakily pass a landing force through relatively easily.
Long version of this question: Is that fair to say? Is it even correct to say that one group necessarily “controlled” a sea in the same way that a country “controlled” a certain area of land? How did the strategy of navies work in WWI? It just seems like everyone tied up a lot of useless resources in them, aside from the weird adventures of Captain Falkenheim (please tell me there’s a children’s book series by that name)
Because of the massive German navy and the throat of Skagerrak, I’m guessing that post-Jutland, but pre-Italy the lineup looked something like this:
The Germans controlled the Baltic sea.
The Ottomans controlled the Bosporus straits.
The Russians controlled the Black and White seas.
The British controlled everything else.
Which pretty much held until the end of the war, does that sound right? Also, what about the Austro-Hungarians? Were they basically docked up the whole time? I assume so, otherwise Serbian arms would have had difficulty going through Greece, right? Or did the Austro-Hungarians have some sort of actual control over the Adriatic?
Also, I have a theory regarding the Italians joining the allies: they held off until not too long after the Ottomans decisively lost control of the Suez. Had the Italians not joined the Allies, they would have faced a blockade about Gibraltar and the Suez from the British.
Also, towards the end of the war, especially after the turnip winter, and especially into late 1918, you would have thought that the Germans would have hail mary’d with their navy. I mean, given how much they lost in the “peace treaty” and had to demilitarize anyways, you would think military desperation would have really sunk in.
Why not ask this question of the dudes in the history thread?
The Italian Navy is generally extremely underrated in these sorts of assessments, due to the poor performance of Italian militaries during their late 19th and early 20th century misadventures. On paper, the Italian Navy had actually been quite substantial. This is the personal blog of a professional historian:http://archive.is/FJhuK>America had actually nearly gone to war against Italy. Now follow this closely, because this is all actual historical fact, although you will not easily find it in American or British textbooks. In 1892, a mob lynched thirteen Italian criminals of Sicilian origin in New Orleans. Public opinion on both sides was furious – the Americans because of the feeling that Italy was exporting their dregs to them, the Italians over the lynching – and the Italian government was, by the height of misfortune, led by a Sicilian, Marquis di Rudini’. The American ambassador was forthwith expelled and the Italian navy set on a war footing. American newspapers announced war. At this point, the Americans started counting units, and realized an alarming fact. The US Navy had no more than four ships of the line in active service. The Italian navy had 73, including what was then the world’s largest battleship. And most of the major American cities lay on the sea. The Italians could bomb New York City, New Orleans, San Francisco - even Philadelphia and Washington DC - into flinders, without any effective defence. America scuttled for peace, offering a settlement of 125,000 gold lire to the dead men’s relatives – not a small sum, but very little to avoid a war. Italy calmed down; and America started building ships.
>And while Britain scowled at France, she tended to smile at Germany. An informal understanding between Britain and the German bloc – made up, at the time, of Austria and Italy – existed through a naval agreement with Italy (the same which had allowed Italy to build up that tremendous naval potential that had humiliated the USA – which, in turn, hardly displeased Whitehall)
The figures for Italy's navy in World War I were superior to the Austro-Hungarian navies, though the Austro-Hungarians had some territorial advantages, as described here:http://www.militaPost too long. Click here to view the full text.
You actually answered everything.
Thank you. This is great. I never knew that stuff about the Italian navy, and also somehow never heard about the naval order.